Jose Mourinho spoke effusively about centre-back pairing Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci following Manchester United’s 0-1 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League.
The home side started awfully, unable to even put together a sequence of passes in a first half which saw Juventus take the lead through Paolo Dybala and dominate nearly 70 per cent of the ball.
Man United responded in the second period, with Paul Pogba striking the post, but never truly opened up a resolute Juventus back line.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho was quick to note that Chiellini and Bonucci were a world class defensive pairing.
Mourinho: ' Mr Bonucci, Mr Chiellini, they could go to some Harvard University to give classes about how to be a central defender.' #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) October 23, 2018
There was almost a hint of arrogance to the way Juventus defended in that second half. So organised, so crisp, so headstrong. At times, it felt like they had snuck another defender onto the pitch.
Chiellini and Bonnuci are less like two autonomous human beings and more one incorrigible, warrior-like, bald, wily, unmistakably Italian immovable object which guards the Juventus goal as if it were their mother’s signature homemade fettuccine.
And United, collectively and individually, were acutely aware of this, you sensed, and it wore them down slowly but surely in a second half where they showed desire but not much else. In the end, Mourinho didn’t even bother to make a substitution. It was like he was thinking, ‘well, what’s the point?’